Appearing on CBS's The Early Show Friday morning, the 34-year-old Internet project manager from Port Washington, N.Y., admitted that as he watches the episodes play out, he can understand why Manthey is getting such a frosty reception with viewers. "In the game, she is a bitch and I can't stand her... and she needed to go," he groaned, adding that had he and his fellow Kuchas seen her true colors, they would have targeted her at Tribal Council instead of innocent hottie Colby. "She sat there with two votes beside me, and we had no idea.
"The only time we ever knew anything about Ogakor is when we came [together for] the [Immunity] Challenges," added Varner. "And we just could sort of gauge their body language. And Jerri was always in the front of the line, she always had a position of leadership. We never saw that dissension... We didn't see her attitude. We didn't know who had votes, and we knew we had to get rid of a strong person."
Not surprisingly, Manthey — a 30-year-old aspiring actress living in Los Angeles — is a different person when not embroiled in a high-stakes, cutthroat contest, Varner insists. In fact, he reveals that the onetime enemies actually watched the first two Survivor installments together. "I like Jerri," he says. "She is a nice person. She really is."